Saugerties prepares for beach season

Joel Hutton of the village’s Parks and Buildings Department gives the beach sign a new coat of paint. (photo by Robert Ford)

“All we need now is some warm weather, and the start of July, and the village beach will be open for business,” says George Terpening, village of Saugerties superintendent of parks and buildings. The warm weather part of it has come in the last couple of days, but it’s not yet Memorial Day.

Terpening was talking about the completed $269,000 Community Rising Project to stabilize the beach and the park.

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The work will minimize damage from future hurricanes and major storms. Hurricanes Lee and Irene and superstorm Sandy wiped out most of the sand from the Village of Saugerties beach, causing considerable erosion throughout the beach park.

Using a portion of the $3 million awarded to the village through the state’s Community Rising program, established to help communities throughout the state mitigate damage from future storms, a number of improvements were made to the beach and its park.

The parking area has been repaved and curbs installed to funnel stormwater coming off Hill Street. A culvert and drainage pipe have been added. A swale was built. Grass was planted to stabilize the beach. A new boat launch ramp and three new docks extending from the beach to about 45 feet out into the Esopus Creek were installed..

The new docks and ramp extend further out into the creek than the previous dock and ramp. There was concern that these new fixtures might collect trees, poles, tires, and other debris that gets swept down the creek during a big storm.

“The project seems to have been well received by the public,” Terpening said.

There’s still a bit of work to be done at the beach and park before the summer swimming and picnicking season begins. Terpening wants to replace some of the cooking grills. The picnic tables need to be repaired. Two floating platforms will be installed  out into the creek.

Terpening said the project was “looking really nice.” The work was done by Westkill-based Evergreen Mountain Construction.

Before the beach can be opened. the village needs lifeguards. Anyone who has a lifeguard certification and would like to work this summer for the village can pick up an application from village clerk Lisa Mayone at the village hall, 43 Partition Street.

Boat and kayak owners who want to launch their craft from the village ramp at the beach are reminded they need to have a boat launch permit, which can be obtained at village hall during regular business hours. The permit is valid though October 15. The permit fee is waived for village residents, but for others it’s $10 for a boat, and $25 for a boat and trailer.

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